Mobile devices have become an integral part of our lives. They offer us the convenience of staying connected to the digital world on the go. In fact, mobile devices have become so essential to our daily routine that they are now used extensively for enterprise work as well. A Zippia study reveals that by 2025, there will be 7.34 billion smartphone users worldwide.
However, with the convenience of mobile devices comes a host of security challenges that must be addressed to ensure the safety of enterprise data. Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a solution that helps protect enterprise data on mobile devices. MDM helps secure, monitor, and manage mobile devices, applications, and data.
Let’s list down the mobile device management best practices that organizations can adopt to protect enterprise data on mobile devices.
Use a Secure BootloaderThe bootloader is the first piece of code that runs when a device is turned on. It is responsible for initializing the hardware and loading the operating system. A secure bootloader ensures the device boots only into a trusted operating system.
Enforce Strong Password PoliciesA strong password policy is the first defense against unauthorized access to a mobile device. The password policy should require users to choose complex passwords that include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, the policy should need users to change their passwords periodically. With an MDM solution, IT admins can easily administer strict passcode policies for mobile devices—both corporate and employee-owned.
Implement Two-Factor AuthenticationTwo-factor authentication (2FA) adds a layer of security to the login process. With 2FA, users must provide two types of authentication to access the device or enterprise applications. This could include a password and a biometric factor, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition. 2FA can be integrated into the passcode policies mentioned above using an MDM solution.
Use Encryption to Protect DataEncryption is converting data into a secret code to prevent unauthorized access. Encryption should be used to protect all sensitive data on mobile devices, including emails, text messages, and files. Additionally, encryption should be used to protect data in transit, such as when connecting to enterprise networks or using public Wi-Fi.
Apply Remote Wipe PoliciesIf a device is lost or stolen, it is essential to have the ability to wipe the device’s data remotely. And an MDM solution offers this ability. Remote wipe policies should be implemented to ensure that all data on the device can be erased if it falls into the wrong hands. This includes enterprise data as well as personal data.
Regularly Update Mobile Device SoftwareMobile device software updates include security patches that address vulnerabilities and improve device performance. Regularly updating mobile devices is important to protect them against known vulnerabilities. This includes updating both the operating system and applications installed on the device. IT admins can leverage an MDM software to automate patch management of operating systems and third-party applications.
Implement a Mobile Security PolicyA mobile security policy outlines the guidelines and best practices for using mobile devices in the enterprise. Additionally, the policy should outline the consequences of violating the policy. MDM solutions offer extensive reporting and analytics, enabling IT teams to track an organizational device fleet closely. Thus, any security violations can be traced immediately.
Conduct Regular Security AuditsRegular security audits should be conducted to identify vulnerabilities and ensure security policies are followed. Security audits should include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and compliance checks. Additionally, security audits should be conducted whenever a new device is added to the enterprise network.
Educate Employees on Mobile Security Best PracticesEmployee education is one of the most critical factors in protecting enterprise data on mobile devices. Employees should be educated on mobile security best practices, including the importance of password policies, 2FA, encryption, and remote wipe policies. Additionally, employees should be trained to identify and report suspicious activity on their mobile devices.
Monitor Device UsageMonitoring device usage is important to ensure employees use mobile devices securely. Monitoring can include tracking the usage of enterprise applications, monitoring network traffic, and reviewing device logs. Additionally, monitoring can help identify non-compliance with security policies.
Implement Appropriate Access ControlsAccess controls should be implemented to ensure that only authorized individuals can access enterprise data on mobile devices. This includes limiting enterprise applications and data access based on user roles and responsibilities. An MDM software offers kiosk mode capability to lock devices so they only run single or multiple applications as per business requirements. Additionally, access controls should be implemented to ensure that devices are only allowed to connect to authorized networks.
Use a Mobile Application Management (MAM) SolutionMobile Application Management (MAM) solutions can manage and secure enterprise applications on mobile devices. MAM solutions can be used to deploy and manage enterprise applications, enforce security policies, and control access to enterprise data. Most MDM software also have MAM capabilities.
Implement a Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) SolutionMobile Threat Defense (MTD) solutions can be used to protect mobile devices against malware and other threats. MTD solutions can detect and remediate malware, prevent phishing attacks, and monitor device behavior for signs of compromise. MDM software features like website blocking come in handy to add a much-needed security layer that IT admins can rely on.
Have a Plan in Place for Device DisposalWhen a mobile device is no longer in use, it is essential to have a plan in place for device disposal. This includes securely wiping all data from the device, removing any enterprise applications, and properly disposing of the device. Additionally, any data stored in the cloud should be securely deleted.
MDM is Non-negotiable in Modern Business Era
Protecting enterprise data on mobile devices is critical to modern-day business operations. Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions can secure, monitor, and manage mobile devices, applications, and data. Therefore, an MDM software in the tech stacks of businesses operating in the modern era is non-negotiable. The best practices we have outlined can be used to ensure that enterprise data is protected against unauthorized access and malicious attacks. By implementing these best practices, businesses can minimize the risks associated with mobile devices and ensure the safety of enterprise data.